Double Olympic medallist Barnes joins Waterfont show
Double Olympic medallist Paddy Barnes will return to the ring on February 18 at the Waterfront Hall as part of the supporting bill to Jamie Conlan's Commonwealth title defence.
The Frank Warren show, which will also feature WBO inter-continental featherweight champion Marc McCullough and light-heavyweight prospect Steven Ward, is shaping up nicely with an intriguing Irish super-featherweight title clash between James Tennyson and Declan Geraghty also added to the card.
Barnes made a successful debut at the Titanic Exhibition Centre in November but he will be looking to have a more serious test this time after his first bout as a professional ended when journeyman Stefan Slavchev was disqualified in the fourth round.
After a short Christmas break, Barnes is back in the gym and preparing for what he hopes will be a year in which he is fast-tracked into title contention.
"The atmosphere for my debut was unbelievable and I can't wait to return," said Barnes.
"Irish boxing just keeps getting better and I'm delighted to be a part of it. We have some really exciting plans for the next 12 months and it all begins at the Belfast Waterfront on February 18," he added.
Belfast man Tennyson suffered a British title fight defeat last April at the hands of Ryan Walsh before returning with a comfortable victory over journeyman Rafael Castillo on the Titanic show.
Geraghty has suffered just one defeat in 15 bouts and on paper it looks like a good match-up.
Belfast light-heavy Ward, who is based in England with Oliver Harrison, will be aiming for a third straight victory since leaving the amateur ranks behind.
Ward said: "The plans my team have in place are exciting and exactly what I need at this stage of my career.
"My two fights at the end of 2016 were great learning fights and I can't wait to go again in my own city in February. I'm improving with every fight and hopefully we'll see some late stoppages as I progress."